This past weekend I deliberately broke my shopping ban in order to get a suit jacket and dress shirt. Because I don’t really have enough time (unless I wanted to expedite shipping) to order anything online I headed to a nearby mall. After wandering several stores (Uniqlo, H&M, Banana Republic) I ended up in Macy’s and found a Calvin Klein separates suit jacket. I was put off by the price of the jacket, $129, and then also put off by the sale price of it, which was $89. However, when I took it up to the checkout counter, it ended up only being $39. Then I was only mildly pleased with my purchase. However, when I told today I could add it to my expense report, I felt a lot better for getting that little bit of money back, but still wrinkling my nose at the fact that I bought something.
I kept thinking about how I’ve got it in my head: No – I will not buy clothes this year. This is where my ridiculously stubborn side and OCD combine forces. When I decide to do something, I have to fail miserably before I tell myself to give in. As a result, I’ve had to really struggle to force myself to buy the few items I have so far and done so with the begrudging temper tantrum of a two year old.
This is a strong suit of mine, but at the same time a flaw. I take it a little too personally upon myself when I think I’ve “failed” at something. I’ve failed to not shop this year because I’ve already bought a tee I didn’t need to wear at night on my last trip due to my own negligence. Now, I’ve bought a suit jacket and another dress shirt because while I know I need a few more proper business options, I definitely would’ve never bought these things otherwise. Not even knowing I’m getting my money back for them will make up for the sense of “failure” I personally feel.
However, my stupidly irrational side comes out when it comes to everything else that I haven’t set my mind on. Like this past weekend when Z and I went to the flower show in the city. We made a sort of date night out of it so I bought the train tickets into the city and I bought dinner because the show tickets would then be nearly equal to what I paid. Z and I are very much about evenness in who pays for what. We go “dutch” on almost everything. That being said, something wonky happened with the credit card reader at the show and Z wasn’t charged a dime and the guy just waved us through the line so we got into the show for free. I ended being the one paying for everything that night – almost. When we realized that, Z bought me a couple of plants at the show. I also had no issues with saying “fuck it” and getting a $10 drink (more whiskey than coke in a tall cup so I was pleased) and $5 gourmet cookies (totally not worth it, they tasted almost stale). Part of me justifies it as: well this is an experience, so I may as well enjoy it to the fullest. I don’t care about spending the money…. until I do.
It’s amazing how I can be so utterly strict and lenient with myself on such things. Hypocritical is probably the best word to describe it. The idea was not only to save money and remind myself I don’t need to buy so many clothes, but now I’m spending it on everything else – sometimes out of necessity and other times because I’ve waved it off for x, y and z reasons. On top of that the money for taxes and our upcoming vacation have been looming over me and I’ve wondered if I’ve already spent more in this first quarter than I did all of last year or nearly to it? I know taxes can’t be helped, but it still sucks ass and I’m counting it anyway because we’ve never had to pay like this before. It feels like a total waste of money.